Heading into the 2012 season, David Amerson had been seen as a potential top 15 pick. After a very up and down season, Amerson started to plummet due to concerns about his speed and his susceptibility to the double move. After a fall out of the first round, some began to wonder (myself included) just how far Amerson would fall. At the 51st pick, the Washington Redskins made the selection to bolster a secondary, which lets say severely underperformed. When Washington made the pick, I immediately wasn’t a fan, mainly due to some of my opinions due to his issues with double moves. After watching Amerson the last few months and seeing his performance through the first preseason game, it’s time to start wondering if David Amerson can become the x-factor for the Redskins in the vaunted NFC East.
How can a rookie like Amerson prove to be a major factor? It’s simple, Amerson has the length many teams are proving to need at CB. Standing at 6’1 Amerson has the arm length to play press coverage, but Amerson is at his best being a ball hawk. Having that length though can be crucial when facing such WR’s as Hakeem Nicks and Dez Bryant. While DeAngelo Hall has been the butt of many jokes, he always seemed to play his best in divisional games, and having someone like Amerson to take pressure off of him could prove to be even more vital for the secondary. With the success of CB’s such as Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, teams now are looking for the big CB’s to match up and shut down top WR’s and Washington seems to have found one with Amerson.
I alluded to this earlier when referencing DeAngelo Hall, but Amerson can have a huge impact on the rest of the secondary. Having someone like Amerson who can match up with #1 WR’s allows a guy like DeAngelo Hall to play in the slot or as the #2 CB and move another guy like Josh Wilson into the slot. Amerson’s impact is more of a trickle down effect on the whole secondary. It allows guys to play in better situations than before, and continue to make the plays needed. I imagine the Washington FO had expected Amerson to make an impact, but after watching his debut in Tennessee as well as the reports coming out of Richmond, Amerson is going to make a bigger impact than they expected. If he can continue this trajectory, look for Amerson to make the lives of DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, Richard Crawford, E.J. Biggers and Chase Minnifield a lot better than before.
So can Amerson become that guy for Washington? Simply put, yes. Amerson is a talent and a natural fit in the defensive scheme that Washington uses. One of my concerns early with Amerson was if he would take well to the coaching and fix up his technique flaws, but with seeing the improvements made there’s no doubt that Amerson is soaking up all the words that come out of Raheem Morris’s mouth. While it’s still early in the pre-season and it’s not a lock by any means, look for Amerson to be either a starter week one or early in the season and make the secondary take the leap it needs to.